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Cherry Picking

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Derek walked through the door to his apartment and was assaulted by the smell of cherries and pack. When he'd told them that there wouldn’t be a pack meeting this week, they had all panicked.

What? Stiles had been more upset than the rest of the group, though Derek had no idea why. But we always have pack meetings on Saturday nights! The Stiles in his memory swung his arms around frantically and almost knocked the dark green lamp — a housewarming gift from Erica — from its perch beside the couch.

I have something else to do. Not something he wanted to do, mind you, but something to do none-the-less. So, no pack meeting this week. Which hurt. As much as Derek had hated the idea of pack bonding when Peter had suggested it, he had learned to look forward to the peace that came with being around his pack. If he had known that the “fae showdown” would be a simple signing of a peace agreement, he wouldn’t have canceled the meeting.

What do you have to do that’s more important than de-stressing with us? Boyd seemed to be the only person that saw Derek’s reluctance to cancel.

Derek scoffed and threw out a hasty, hot date. Of course, he didn’t see Stiles flinch at the idea of Derek seeing someone that wasn’t Stiles himself. Stiles had been making great progress with Derek’s social life, even going so far as to sign him up for a book club — Derek never went, but he was technically signed up.

“Derek!” He was abruptly brought back the present by Isaac slamming into his side and knocking him back into the door. “I’m so glad you’re back! We were all going to stay up and wait for you, but Scott fell asleep.” He frowned. “Why do you smell like wolfsbane and ink?”

“So that we won’t be hunted by the growing fae population in California.” Isaac’s frown only deepened, but he let Derek go so they could walk past the small entryway and into the living room. It was good to see that his pack had made themselves at home.

Scott was sprawled across the loveseat, obviously having fallen asleep before the rest of the gang had even arrived. That hadn’t stopped any of them from getting comfortable. Erica was sitting on him, balanced directly in the middle of his back, pressing his face into one of the throw pillows. Lydia sat directly behind her and leaned against Erica’s back sleepily. Jackson was barely conscious, slumped against Boyd on the couch. Boyd didn’t seem to care that he was being used as a pillow and was watching commercials flash sporadically on the TV. Danny was leaning back on the other end of the couch; the space between him and Boyd had probably been Isaac’s spot before Derek got home. Stiles’ permanent seat, an armchair that sat alone “so that he didn’t overheat in the puppy pile,” was suspiciously empty.

“Derek?” Speak of the devil… Stiles’ voice called from the kitchen. “Do you want some cherries? They’re fresh!” Of course, Stiles would be the one with healthy snacks for the pack. Derek rolled his eyes, but headed into the kitchen anyways.

He had just crossed the threshold when he saw Stiles pop a cherry into his own mouth, stem and all, and he paused to watch Stiles chew and spit out the seed. His eyes widened when Stiles expertly pulled the stem out of his mouth. It had a knot tied neatly in the center. That hadn’t been there when it went into Stiles’ mouth.

Derek’s mind instantly jumped to all of the things he had ever wanted to do to Stiles’ mouth and flew past his old fantasies of kissing him until he couldn’t breathe. His mind went straight down the path marked “Do Not Attempt While Anywhere Near the Pack.” In his mind’s eye he saw Stiles kneeling down in front of him, tongue peeking out to whet his lips before leaning forward to—

“DEREK!” Scott was instantly awake and disgusted. He most certainly did not want to smell his Alpha’s arousal. Him jumping to attention startled Erica and Lydia enough that Erica partially shifted, fangs promising retribution, while Lydia elbowed him in the head — trying desperately to get away from the two startled werewolves.